Though most people associate wellness with physical and mental wellbeing, there are, in fact, 7 dimensions of wellness. Still, most corporate and workplace wellness programs tend to focus mostly on addressing physical and mental health.

It’s a start, but successful wellness programs are those that are robust and holistic and can address each of the seven dimensions of wellness while at work.

7 Dimensions of Wellness and How to Address them in the Workplace

Social Wellness

In simple words, social wellness is the ability to relate and connect with other people, at work, at home, in our neighborhoods, etc. Social wellness is about building and maintaining positive relationships that add value to our and other people’s lives.
Social wellness can be addressed in the workplace by encouraging people to engage with other coworkers and staff members. Social wellness in the workplace can be addressed in the following ways:
  • Through design. Designing an attractive community area where people can get together, eat, drink coffee, etc. Having areas in the workplace that are conducive to group activities and interactions.
  • Curating a variety of events and activities that will bring people together at specific times like free snacks at certain times of the day, group lunches or potlucks, etc.
Social wellness creates a sense of belonging, it can make people happier and physically healthier as well. At work, this can translate into increased motivation, productivity, and collaboration.

Emotional Wellness

Emotional wellness is also commonly referred to as mental wellness. Emotional wellness is our own ability to understand and accept ourselves and successfully cope and deal with the challenges and obstacles life and work bring. Emotional wellness is being able to identify how you’re feeling and why; it’s about acknowledging and effectively channeling anger, fear, sadness, stress, hope, love, happiness, frustration, etc.  

Though there is still significant stigma around conversations of mental or emotional wellness at work, it’s important to create a workplace environment where people feel safe and comfortable sharing how they feel. To address emotional wellness in the workplace, companies should:
  • Offer stress management programs/workshops
  • Offer mental health days (people sometimes need a day off to deal with their thoughts and emotions)
  • Offer onsite meditation programs
  • Promote support services available in your community or neighborhood
  • Provide mindfulness training
  • Send daily or weekly inspiration quotes

Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual wellness goes hand-in-hand with emotional wellness, as spiritual and emotional wellness directly influence one another. Spiritual wellness is our ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives and to be fulfilled by what we do by aligning our values with our actions.
Spiritual wellness is about having a set of guiding beliefs, principles, and values that give meaning, purpose, and direction to our lives. Below are some ways to address and encourage spiritual wellness in the workplace:
  • State your company or brand’s purpose in order for people to find meaning and purpose in their work
  • Encourage meditation
  • Offer on-site yoga classes
  • Set up policies that facilitate and foster diversity in culture, ideas, and thought
  • Offer quiet rooms where people can relax, sleep, pray, medidate
  • Have a company volunteer or giving back program (people oftentimes find meaning and purpose by helping others)

Environmental Wellness

Environmental wellness is being aware of nature, our environment, and our immediate surroundings. It is about protecting the environment and protecting ourselves from environmental hazards. This requires that people think of air, water, and land quality and take the necessary steps to protect it.
Here’s how to address environmental wellness in the workplace:
  • Build a healthy workplace, this can be done by offering high-quality filtered water, by providing regular maintenance to air filters and the overall HVAC system, provide access to natural resources in the workplace — views, plants in the office (here are the 7 best low-maintenance plants that are hard to kill), natural light, etc — carefully monitor thermal comfort, and embrace biophilia
  • Have a recycling program
  • Avoid using hazardous materials and go for environmentally friendly options — paint, cleaning supplies, avoid one time use plastic, etc.
  • Decrease unwanted noise levels and avoid heavy use of artificial lighting
  • Offer bike storage to encourage the use of alternative methods of transportation

Occupational Wellness

Occupational wellness refers to our ability to feel fulfilled with our jobs and chosen career paths, without sacrificing work-life balance; it’s about being involved in work activities that allow you to show your talents and skill set.
Occupational health is also about providing a work environment that is conducive to good health, productivity, presenteeism, and preventing work related diseases. Occupational health is a leading factor of good health, especially considering that people spend over 40 hours of their week in the workplace.
Occupational wellness is about maximizing workplace happiness. Here’s how to address occupation health in the workplace:
  • Carry out regular health risk assessments and promote preventive health in the workplace (like vaccines, flu shots, allergies, etc.)
  • Have a smoke free policy and encourage people to take regular walking breaks throughout the day
  • Provide incentives or rewards for healthy behaviors
  • Involve coworkers and staff in leadership decisions
  • Since occupational health is about maintaining healthy work-life balance, companies can  offer on-site childcare, flexible hours, and family-friendly policies and activities
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